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Taking control

By Nebraska Lacrosse, 03/15/15, 7:45PM CDT

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Nebraska improves to 6-1, Cornhuskers take early lead in conference standings


Sophomore midfielder Caleb Milliken (middle) looks to pass during Nebraska's game against Arkansas on Saturday, March 14. Photo by Rod Adams Photography

Nebraska found itself in familiar territory during the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 14.

The Cornhuskers were coming off a one-goal loss to Oklahoma on a buzzer-beating goal by the Sooners. In that game, Nebraska had been up by a goal against Oklahoma in the final minute but surrendered two late goals.

Six short days later, the Cornhuskers found themselves up by one in the final minute once again – this time against Missouri.

And this time, Nebraska knew what to do and more importantly what not to do.

“Generally we tell the guys not to dwell on the good or bad in games that we’ve played but we made an exception to that rule after the Oklahoma game,” Nebraska coach Rob Mazanec said. “We told the team to remember that final minute and how we felt after that game. We knew that experience would be beneficial for us but I don’t think we planned on needing it this soon.”


Senior goaltender Max Jordan. Photo by Rod Adams Photography

With tough defense and great goaltending by senior netminder Max Jordan (Aurora, Ill. / Waubonsie Valley HS), the Cornhuskers withstood the late push by Missouri to hold on for an 8-7 victory. The victory over the Tigers was the first ever in Nebraska program history.

After surrendering four goals in the first quarter against Missouri, Jordan locked in to only allow one goal in each of the final three quarters and finish with 10 saves.

Junior attackman Brett Willms (Houston, Texas / Kingwood HS) led the way in scoring for Nebraska with five goals and one assist. Sophomore midfielder Nathan Blazek (Lincoln, Neb. / Lincoln Southeast HS), sophomore attackman Zach Brown (Omaha, Neb. / Millard West HS) and junior attackman Ketcher Taylor (Carlsbad, Calif. / La Costa Canyon HS) each scored a goal for the Cornhuskers.

With just three hours until its next game of the day, Nebraska had a very short time to recover after the mentally and physically draining win over Missouri.

Nebraska would face off against Arkansas later that night but with fatigue playing a major factor, the Cornhuskers struggled to grab control of the game and the score was tied 2-2 after the first quarter.

Finding enough energy, Nebraska would outscore the Razorbacks 12-2 in the final three quarters to win 14-4.


Senior midfielder Tom Gillan. Photo by Rod Adams Photography

Senior midfielder Tom Gillan (Lincoln, Neb. / Pius X HS) and Brown scored three goals each with Brown also notching an assist. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Reardon (Kansas City, Mo. / Park Hill South HS) won seven out of 10 faceoffs keeping Nebraska in control during the second half of the game. Nine additional Cornhuskers would register at least one point including Willms who scored two goals. Jordan made stopped eight of 12 shots on goal.

Next game for Nebraska (6-1 overall, 3-0 conference) is Saturday, April 4 at 3 p.m. in Lawrence, Kan. against the University of Kansas (1-2 overall, 1-1 conference) at the Shenk Complex for the Cornhuskers' first road game of the season.

GAME NOTES

Taylor served as game captain for the game against Missouri and junior defenseman Luke Trevino (Marietta, Ga. / Lassiter HS) was chosen as the game captain for the game against Arkansas ... Willms continues to lead the team in goals (30), assists (8) and points per game (5.43) ... Jordan has made 60 saves so far during the 2015 season while owning a .571 save percentage and is allowing an average of 7.03 goals per game ... Jordan has only allowed 45 goals on 105 shots on goal this season ...


Senior defenseman Santo Marasco. Photo by Rod Adams Photography

Senior defenseman Santo Marasco (Omaha, Neb. / Creighton Prep HS) currently leads the team, conference and entire MCLA DI with at least 60 ground balls (and possibly more depending on film review) based on statistics listed on the MCLA website as of Sunday, March 15, 2015 ... With a 6-1 overall record following the first seven games of the season, Nebraska has tied the best start to a season in program history (2009) ... With the two victories over Missouri and Arkansas, Nebraska is currently in sole possession of first place in the GRLC DI West Division ... Nebraska’s three conference wins so far during the 2015 season equal the total number of conference wins during the last three seasons combined ... The last two times Nebraska had three conference wins was in 2009 and 2010. The Cornhuskers have had four conference wins in 2007 and have never gone undefeated in conference play ... Nebraska has never won a game against the University of Kansas but has already defeated MSU-Mankato and Missouri this season each for the first time in program history ... In the first seven games of the 2015 season, Nebraska has outscored its opponents 100-49.

BLACKSHIRTS

The first round of Blackshirts were awarded to seven defensive players. Congratulations to the 2015 recipients of Nebraska Lacrosse Blackshirts:

While this is the first year of Blackshirts being awarded within the Nebraska Lacrosse program, the goal is to create the same prestige associated with the honor that was originally started by the Cornhuskers' storied football program.

The 2015 Nebraska Lacrosse Blackshirts


From left to right: Kyle Reardon, Max Jordan, Luke Trevino, Santo Marasco, Austin Alexander, Trevor Shemanske and Kevan Reardon. Photo by Nebraska Lacrosse

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